About Shape Architecture Brighton

Architects in Brighton

Shape Architecture is a chartered RIBA architectural practice in Brighton.  With an office at the Pier Werks between the Pier and the Pavilion we undertake a variety of projects in Brighton.

Our portfolio ranges from work in London to Brighton and along the Coast to towns such as Hastings

We are convinced that the London to Brighton advantage serves our Clients and their projects in both areas.  This is further enhanced through the richness and diversity of our portfolio.  We undertake private residential, school and community projects of all size and type.

Through our Director Jason Wren we have over 20 years of designing sustainable buildings, 10 years as an Associate Director at Studio E Architects who were in the vanguard of sustainable design and 10 years at Shape Architecture founded by Jason.  As sustainable architects in Brighton we can therefore bring a considerable level of expertise to each project.  We are at present on site with the sustainable conversion of a large country house which utilise and extensive ground Source Heat pump for ‘free energy’ linked to efficient underfloor heating.

Common to all our projects no matter what size or type is the occupation with the use of natural light and the connection between the interior and landscape beyond.

Sustainable Design in Brighton

Shape Architecture bring over twenty years of built experience of sustainable low energy buildings I the residential, school and community sectors.   This knowledge enables us to provide a rounded view of the appropriate inclusion of sustainable measures, ranging from strategic decisions to the use of renewable technologies and the importance of detailing the building envelope.

Brighton Listed Buildings:

Shape Architecture brings a well-established experience of adding contemporary extensions and refurbishment to Grade 2 listed buildings.  These range from a below garden basement to a prominent Grade 2 listed building in Windsor to the addition of a large contemporary extension with green roof to a Grade 2 listed building in the village of Bray in Berkshire.  In Brighton we have recently completed schemes to two grade 2 listed buildings in Montpelier Crescent.  One being a large family home and the other an apartment.  In the larger of the two we incorporated a separate lower ground flat into the whole house and opened all up onto the rear garden with the inclusion of a glass bridge over the rear lightwell connecting the dining room to the garden.  In each instance we also made good unfortunate development over the years to realise the Grade 2 character of the property and also help in being consistent with the contrast between existing and contemporary addition.

Shape Architecture Offer a Free Consultation at Your Property

Telephone: +44 (0) 1273648342
Email: brighton@shapearchitecture.co.uk

As a small property development concern we have experience in dealings with architectural practices, but when seeking a project in a geographical area not known to us we were introduced to Shape Architecture and its director Jason Wren by a mutually very satisfied client. The reasons for this became immediately apparent. Shape Architecture has shown itself to be a thoroughly professional and friendly practice that is well structured, and has become an invaluable business partner of ours with multi disciplined services at clearly laid out and competitive prices. We have successfully completed and sold our first project with them, with many more to come!

Marcus Whittington, Director, Gravitas Developments

Brighton Basements

Shape Architecture has a reputation for basement design having now completed over 30 such projects.  These range from single storey to two storey basements, to ones below gardens, to listed buildings, below flats and set below Mews properties.  In commissioning a basement in Brighton we bring unrivalled expertise.

Sedum Roof Brighton
Green Roofs, Sedum Roofs and Rubble Roofs

Many of Shape Architecture’s projects feature Green Roofs and these range from Private Residential projects to Schools and Community buildings.

The advantages of a green roof are many.  These include the benefit to thermal and acoustic performance and protection of the roofing membrane to the absorption of upto 70% of rainfall and the benefits to easing water run off to the creation of bio diverse environments.  In addition a green roof always provides an attractive feature far better than most other roof coverings.

In Shape Architecture’s projects we tend to use Sedum roofs or rubble roofs.

A sedum roof is easily incorporated into a project as it does not require a large depth of soil with the issues of weight that would create but rather can be rolled out as a sedum blanket or assembled as a series of trays.  Our side infill extension on Hastings was formed using a series of trays whilst our EcoShed 01 used a Sedum Blanket and both have proved successful.

A rubble roof also provides a very interesting aesthetic.  In the photograph of the rubble roof the combination of rubble and Rooflight works very well.  In this project we chose a rubble roof to re-use the rubble we were coming across in our excavation of foundations as the project demanded that little or no waste left the site.

Green roofs do engage the onlooker and firm interesting compositions with other materials.  Shape Architecture designed the school building illustrated for Anthony Roper School in Kent in the form of a dragonfly given its riverside setting and the grass spine forms the body contrasting against the canter metal roofs over the classrooms forming the wings.

As Brighton Architects we are always happy to advise on the incorporation of a green roof in a project and can point to a vast range of experience in this field.

Our Fees are a Fixed Lump Sum

Our portfolio includes a large range of projects of various sizes

Study Extension in Brighton

Employing Architects in Brighton

As private residential architects in Brighton we set out below the process of appointing Shape Architecture then the processes of designing and constructing your project.

Shape Architecture in Brighton

On contacting Shape Architecture we will arrange with you a convenient day and time for the Director of the practice to visit you at your property and to discuss the plans you have for your home.  There is no charge for this visit.  We will also be able to discuss the process from appointment to completion of your project and answer any questions that you might have.

Following this meeting we will write to you.  This letter clearly sets out the nature of the brief as we understand it and describes the nature of the service we can offer and the associated fee.  As we have stated our fees are Fixed Lump Sums plus vat.  We also break down our fee according to the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) plan of work.  This creates a menu of services that the Client can choose from.

On appointment our first activity is to carry out a digital survey of the property from which we will prepare a Measured Survey brochure and email this to you.  The survey forms the basis for all follow on work including the ‘As Existing’ drawings that all planning applications require.

Following on from the measured survey Shape Architecture will prepare a number of design options for our client in response to the  brief, budget and site constraints.

These options will be explored in both 3D computer modelling and 2D work with supporting drawings and design notes.  All this material is then incorporated in Design Option Brochure and issued to the Client.

Following the issue of this brochure and once our clients have had a chance to look at the options the Practice Director for the project who will remain the permanent point of contact throughout the duration of the project will visit the Client and discuss the options in detail.  We will look at what is liked and disliked amongst the options and through this process develop a preferred scheme.  This design will then be developed in accordance with planning submission requirements and submitted on line by Shape Architecture using the governments Planning Portal.  For ease Shape Architecture will also pay the application fee on behalf of our Client at this point and the claim this sum back as a project expense.  Householder Planning Applications typically cost £172.

Susan Fisher Photographt
Planning Permission in Brighton

Once the application is submitted on line we will receive a Planning Portal reference number and confirmation that Brighton Planning department has received the application and will proceed to validate it in accordance with their normal timescale which is typically 5 – 10 working days.  Once validated we will receive a unique Planning Reference number, a Case Officer and the Decision Date.

We will continue to liaise with the Planning Authority during the process of their considering the application and this will include organising the visit of the Planning Officer to the site.  Should the Planning Officer require any amendments to the submission we will inform the Client and amend the drawings as required. Once planning permission has been granted Shape Architecture will move to the Technical Design stage of the project once instructed to do so by our Client.

We will obtain quotes for our Client from other consultants that the project requires such as structural engineers and liaise with them accordingly. On completion of the Technical Design stage and with a well resolved and integrated package of information we will put together the Tender Documentation.  Here the key pricing document will be the Schedule of Works. The Schedule of Works sets out in spreadsheet form every element of the project from steel beams to door hinges to ensure that the project is thoroughly priced.

Each tendering contractor will complete our pricing schedule and we will then complete a spreadsheet that incorporates all figures to enable a comparison to be made.  In our tender report to the Client we will also highlight any areas of concern.  We will  press the contractor to firm up all costs.  We will seek references from previous clients and their contact details to allow our clients to talk through the contractors performance with them.


Shape Architecture Brighton

Pier Werks, Old Steyne House

21-22 Old Steine

Brighton BN1 1EL

Telephone: +44 (0) 1273648342
Email: brighton@shapearchitecture.co.uk

Shape Architecture is a Member of Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce

Brighton Community Buildings:

Our portfolio of community buildings incorporates many that also follow a clear sustainable agenda.  These include projects such as Eco Shed one and two for a charity in London where each building incorporated recycled materials, pre-fabrication and green roofs.  Eco shed 02 utilised the rubble from its excavation of the foundations to form a rubble roof.  This helped a great deal in reducing its carbon footprint which was being monitored by the Carbon Hub.  Just outside Brighton in Peacehaven we have designed a two storey community centre for the House Project charity.  Here an air source heat pump is linked to the underfloor heating.  Extensive natural light through large format glass screens and a large number of roof lights also ensure that acritical light is kept to a minimum with all the benefits of the variety of views created.

Brighton Extensions

Our portfolio of extensions is again large and focuses on the use of natural light, connection to the garden and the way in which the addition of a space to the edge of a room can significantly change the quality and use of the space.

Sustainable upgrade

Shape Architecture brings its 20 years of experience in Sustainable architecture to every project it works on.  The value here is that we can discuss the range of energy saving measures and the relative benefits set against cost.

Our project near St Albans, explores the potential for a sustainable reworking of a large country house.  In the first instance the simple things are done well.  All existing solid masonry walls are thermally lined using thermal board  with bonded insulation.  New double glazed Windows with air barrier detailing are added throughout. Larger format glazed screens onto the garden and new rooflights are added to bring daylight throughout the interior.  The interior is also opt ended up into lighter brighter spaces. Underfloor heating is added throughout and this is linked to a Ground Source Heat Pump to gain free energy.

We also gained further planning permissions to convert out buildings into a Home Office which reduces the need to travel to work.  Solar thermal panels are added to roofs to heat water.  Green sedum roofs are added to various flat roof areas with all the advantages this brings.  This project is a large scale sustainable project and Shape Architecture was selected for its expertise in sustainable design, but the approach can be appropriately applied to all types and scales of project.  Our Community Centre in Peacehaven near Brighton utilises an Air Source Heat Pump linked to underfloor heating to great effect.

Brighton School Buildings

Jason Wren has worked on a range of significant school buildings as an Associate Director at Studio E.  This experience has been developed at Shape Architecture with projects such as the Early Years building at Anthony Roper School in Kent where the building sat by the river Darrent is in the form of a Dragonfly with raked roofs as wings over the glass rooms and a long linear green roof as the spine of accommodation.

Upcycle and Recycle

Shape Architecture has recently completed the full renovation and extension of a large family house in Hastings overlooking the Old Town.  Here a separate flat was incorporated into the main dwelling and a two storey side extension also incorporated a large lightwell/courtyard into the interior.  A side extension with Sedum Roof provides an interesting composition with a series of roof lights one of which acts as a light tube to bring light into the basement.  Throughout the project we have worked with the client and Retrouvious on the Harrow Road to soured reclaimed fixtures and fittings and then look to re-use these in the property.  This approach was first undertaken by Shape Architecture some ten years ago on the first of the Eco Sheds which uses recycled flooring, recycled sinks and much more besides.

Whilst based in Brighton on the Old Steine, Shape Architecture undertake work along the South Coast.  Our recently completed large house extension and whole house refurbishment in Hastings is a good recent example.  The project took a prominent house overlooking the Old Town presently configured as two separate flats and formed a large contemporary and characterful house.

The basement space has been filled with light through the introduction of a long linear light shaft which terminates at the green sedum roof.  Rooflights through this roof also bring natural light into the heart of the interior.  Large glazed doors open up onto the terrace and garden beyond.  Viewed from the upper levels the sedum roof over the side extension merged into the green if the garden and the field and hills beyond.  Throughout the project a range of recycled and up cycled materials and pieces of furniture have been used.  The interior is filled with light, colour and pattern and is the result of a successful collaboration between Client and Architect.

Brighton Architects
Study Extension in Brighton

Of those Brighton extensions currently on the drawing board we have two side extensions one in the Withdean area of Brighton and one adjacent to Queens Park.  Each shows the how a simple extension can be handled with creativity to bring light into the interior, provide welcome additional floorspace and improve the internal layout and also provide an improved connection, both physically and visually between inside and outside spaces.

Shape Architecture – Brighton Projects

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